Tom Cruise isn't being directed by Christopher McQuarrie in the new Top Gun sequel, but that doesn't mean the pair aren't working together. McQuarrie has directed the last two entries in the Mission: Impossible franchise starring the actor, and while Cruise is currently being directed by Joseph Kosinski on the set of Top Gun: Maverick, it's being reported that McQuarrie is involved as well, apparently helping to punch up the script.
In a recent interview with Empire Magazine with both Christopher McQuarrie and Tom Cruise, the actor reveals that the new Top Gun marks the tenth film that the pair have collaborated on in some way, though the actor doesn't elaborate on exactly what that means.
However, Collider has apparently confirmed that McQuarrie is on board to work on the script in some capacity. The "heavy lifting" on the screenplay is reportedly already complete, which would seem to indicate McQuarrie is there to make tweaks and add a layer of polish as it is determined such things are needed.
The current writing credits for the script of Top Gun: Maverick belong to Justin Marks, Eric Warren Singer, and Peter Craig. It will be interesting to see if McQuarrie ends up getting an official writing credit for the film. He has done uncredited work before. He worked on the Ghost Protocol, the Mission: Impossible movie directed by Brad Bird before McQuarrie himself took the reins for the next two entries.
This shouldn't be read as anything other than business as usual. Bringing in a fresh set of eyeballs to look at a script and make some minor changes is a more common practice than you might realize. It also makes all the sense in the world that if it's going to happen, Tom Cruise would want to bring in somebody that he's worked with before. Not only is Christopher McQuarrie simply a talented writer, but because he's worked with Tom Cruise so many times before, he knows how to use the script to play to the actor's strengths. Or in the case of Cruise's ankle, to avoid his weaknesses.
And odds are that everybody involved in Top Gun: Maverick will want that script, and everything else, to be perfect. This has to be one of the most requested film sequels in modern movie history. It's difficult to describe just how popular Top Gun was back in the day, and people have been wanting that follow up for 30 years. The nine-year-old me who saw Top Gun in the theater all those years ago still can't quite believe that this movie is actually happening.
With the added muscle of Christopher McQuarrie, the story being brought to the screen should be that much stronger overall. The long-anticipated sequel is set to arrive in the summer of 2020.